Saturday, April 26, 2014

Flying John Deere Tackle

At precisely this time last week, I was walking down the aisle at my sister's wedding.  It went well.  That's not what I'm going to write about, other than the time coincidence.

Last Sunday, I decided to mow the lawn.  No big deal.  I had plenty of fuel, I was feeling well (if exhausted from the previous day), and the mower was working decently.  

Until I got off the mower to pick up a plastic food dish that I've been using for the kitties.  I disengaged the blade, waited for it to stop, and then put the mower in neutral.  I was only going to be off for about half a second.  (Don't lecture me about turning off the engine every time I stop.)

And then it popped out of neutral, into first, and took off without me directly toward an 8 inch high patio.  I knew I had to catch it before it hit the patio and destroyed the blade, so I did a flying tackle.  I grabbed for the steering wheel with my left hand when I landed and held it still, fighting the transmission, while I tried frantically to put it back into neutral.  And then that bastard popped into reverse, which is a lot faster than first gear, and came back on me. 


The back of the seat caught me across the ribs, and bruised them pretty badly.  Over the past few days, I've suspected I separated them too, and started worrying that I might have broken one.  I've got a cut in the top of my hand (how??), two huge visible bruises across my abdomen, and some very tender ribs on my right side.  And a huge black bruise on my rear end, exactly opposite the main bruise on the front.  I don't remember any damage to my derrière, really.  I just mowed the yard after all this idiocy. I was probably in a very mild state of shock, because I can't remember all the details of the accident.  I remember flashes of it. 

Breathing has been a trying adventure.  Bending over has been excruciating.  Laughing, coughing, and sneezing? Well, let's just say that they've all been a bit tearful.  

Within an hour of the "adventure", I was hurting.  At first it was just a little soreness, but then came full-fledged pain.  I hurt the rest of the day, but pushed, poked, and pressed (and that was no fun at all) to see if there were any obvious breaks.  I was hurting badly, but not to the extent that I thought anything was broken.  In other words, it felt bearable, but I decided to get x-rays IF I started having worse symptoms.  

Everything I read online (shut up -- I'd feel stupid seeing a doctor over a couple of bruises) ) said that for bruised ribs, the best thing to do is not to tape, wrap, or in any way constrict the ribs.  The best treatment was a lot of lying still, preferably right on the affected side.  Make sure to breathe deeply several times a day, even if it hurt dreadfully, to prevent pneumonia.  

So I did.  Oddly enough, sleeping directly on the bruised side alleviated the soreness while I was doing it, but trying to get out of bed subsequently led to near-screaming.  Oh, owwie!  I avoided squishing my ribs at work and tried to rest at home.  

And Monday, I was more sore. I took a four hour nap after work.

Tuesday, I was even more sore and tender, but I had my oil painting class, and my portrait of Tom awaited.  More on dear Tom's portrait later.

Wednesday, I was so sore and tender I promised myself a doctor visit on Thursday if things weren't improving. I took an hour and a half nap after work and wondered where my life was going if I was turning into Rip Van Winkle. I had an enchilada that night, after having a Dirty Snowman Frappe that afternoon - my first in months.  I felt like a pig.

Thursday I was back to Tuesday levels of pain and still gave a very sore driving lesson to my friend. I took a three hour nap that day.   I ate hummus and woke in the wee hours of the morning with symptoms of appendicitis. (Really! Lower right quadrant could almost NOT be touched.) I made myself go back to sleep and swore I would never buy that brand of hummus again, when I woke up minus 
that pain.

Friday I rolled out of bed without screaming.  And I smiled about it because I could bend over a little easier when I needed to.  No more tears on that, but leaning backward and spreading my ribs a bit was a problem.  

Today my ribs are incredibly tender when I press on them but bending over isn't too bad now.  It seems to be progress.  And on Monday, I'll have the scary x-ray assisted cortisone injection directly into my hip socket.  Or the consultation for it, whichever it may be.  

I'll be missing proctoring the first day of the all-our-lives-and-careers-depend-on-it state mandated standardized tests for this week (But wait, next week there's more!) but if I can walk afterward, maybe I'll just walk into the sushi place and spoil myself a little. Just a meal's worth.  And maybe some for the next day's lunch too.

I'm wondering, should I see if anyplace there in the not-so-big-city sells body armor in my size? You know, so I can do chores like normal people....

Oh, there is a bright spot to this, and I don't mean my day-glo bruises.  I told my dad about my little accident and the fact that my mower has been continuing forward or backward for about four additional feet after I press the brake, and he and my former brother-in-law came over to fix the brakes, which are in the transmission... Which makes me wonder if the mower slipping out of neutral and into first might have been related to the brake problem, somehow, you know, transmission-wise.

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